Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Morning Quarterback – Steve Buscemi & The Black Keys

I’m trying to figure out what to do on weeks when SNL isn’t new. Currently, I’m taking those weeks off, but I’m trying to come up with a format to keep Sunday Morning Quarterback going during those weeks.

As for this week, I didn’t really know what to expect coming in. On one hand Steve Buscemi is a talent but on the other hand he’s sort of an unknown quantity. But at the very least I knew The Black Keys were going to kill it.

Our rating system is as follows;

Phil Hartman– Comedic gold
Chris Farley – Definitely funny, but kinda messy
Norm MacDonald – Funny, but not for everyone
Tim Meadows – Solid Bit
Andy Samberg– Funny, but overstayed it’s welcome
Jim Breuer- Crowd pleaser, but a bit obvious
David Spade – Trying too hard
Chris Elliot – Didn’t click at all, how did it get on

Obama Cold Open – This was an entirely adequate start to the episode. The “America’s Most Powerful” list was pretty funny. I’m sure it’s a bit that probably killed in the writers room and the table read. But it just sort of meandered to it’s abrupt ending. Still it make me chuckle.

Rating: Andy Samberg

Monologue – The “questions from the audience monologue” is one of my favorite monlogues, so to see it resurrected slayed me. Also, being a fan of characters actors, I really dug it. It also marks Jay Pharoah’s first appearance this episode as well as him in drag; so it’s a two-fer. Seriously, this monologue was awesome.

Rating: Phil Hartman

Frozen Mexican Dinner – This was a great ad parody. The set up was totally a digestive aid cliché and the sterile packaging of the meal was a great touch, props to the art department and the props department. Plus Paul Brittian and Fred Armisen totally sold the ad. And the Indian and Fish varieties were a nice touch.

Rating: Phil Hartman

The Miley Cyrus Show – Vanessa Bayer does not get lost into her characters. She’s always “Vanessa Bayer.” Also this bit has never been one of my favorites, so now it’s pretty grating. Miley high got old quick. There was a chance that Maya Rudolph could have saved it, but her “Whitney Houston” was pretty indistinguishable from her “Oprah.” Buscemi did his part, but this skit was a stinker. Rudolph’s cameo was totally wasted.

Rating: David Spade, Chris Elliot

Digital Short – Digital shorts rock when they’re absurd. And this one slowly crept into absurdity. Andy Samberg’s Batman was suitably creepy and Buscemi’s Gordon was spot on. It was a funny bit that was helped by Brittian’s turn as Aquaman.

Rating: Tim Meadows

Dateline – The use and the calling out of the Dateline clichés was funny. And Bill Hader did a got job with his impression. I loved the noting how the stories get stretched to fill the hour. The birthday clown story was mad funny.

Rating: Tim Meadows

Coach Bert – This was decent. Props to whoever had the guts to pitch a sketch about an alleged pedophile. The overreaction and subtle critique of the media were nice touches. I did like Keenan losing his cool and the NAMBLA reference. NAMBLA is pretty much always funny.

Rating: Tim Meadows

The Black Keys Performance One – Dopeness. Watching it just increased my desire to cop the new album. Tuesday can not come soon enough. And it’s really pretty dope that they still are a band, considering how close they came to breaking up. Seeing them on stage really makes me appreciate that reconciliation.

Weekend Update – The Herman Cain stuff was funny, but considering how he bowed out today, it also felt late. On the other hand Drunk Uncle was superb. Bobby Moynihan really managed to pull off “drunk” in a believable way. It wasn’t over the top, it was perfect. I wouldn’t mind seeing Drunk Uncle come back to discuss politics or anything.

Surprise Lady – Another genuine low point. Buscemi as the straight man and the reliance on Kristen Wiig to anchor things; that’s a recipe for moderate to extremely unfunny. Not to mention that this character was crazy derivative. Sue is clearly related to Wiig’s Penelope. It was just unpleasant.

Rating: David Spade, Jim Breuer

Ed Vincent’s Sex Symposium – I cannot express to you how glad I was to see this sketch. The Ed Vincent sketch last year was one of my favorites, of the entire year and I’ve been waiting for the character to return ever since. It’s what sold me on Brittian and made me a fan. And Ed Vincent’s return didn’t disappoint. That “You Can Go To Town On Me” card tickled me. Buscemi’s Erotic Chef was equally good. I also loved Vincent’s same sex moves. The Credit Card and Bumps on a Log. That’s comedy.

Rating: Phil Hartman, Norm MacDonald

The Black Keys Performance Two – More good stuff. It’s convinced me that I’ve got to see them perform live the next time they’re in the area.

Ornaments – This is a primo “five to one” sketch. Buscemi working that weird/creepy vibe while Wiig was rather subdued. This was one of those weird sketches that you’re either going to love or hate. I loved it.

Rating: Norm MacDonald, Tim Meadows

Final Thoughts: First off, I’m really glad to see Paul Brittian have a really strong episode, including the return of “Sex” Ed Vincent. Also Bobby Moynihan's "Drunk Uncle" was the star of Weekend Update this week. Overall it was a pretty strong episode, save for the dual low points of “Surprise Lady” and “The Miley Cyrus Show.” Apart from those two clunkers it was a thoroughly entertaining affair.

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